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EAWOP Small Group Meeting: Political Work CALL FOR PAPERS


EAWOP Small Group Meeting – Call for Papers

Political Work

Prof. Jo Silvester – Loughborough University, UK (Chair & Contact person)
Prof. Rosalind Searle – University of Glasgow, UK
Prof. John Antonakis – University of Lausanne, Switzerland

We are pleased to announce the call for papers for this European Association of Work and Organizational Psychologists sponsored Small Group Meeting on Political Work.

Despite growing distrust in governments and political leadership globally, the work undertaken within political spaces is not well understood or supported by research (Silvester, 2008; Silvester & Wyatt, 2018). Somewhat surprisingly, work and organisational psychologists have also largely ignored political work – as a consequence, our voices are silent on many of the most significant challenges facing the world today. The overall aim of this Small Group Meeting will be to address this important gap and refocus attention on political work, defined here as:

Work undertaken by elected or appointed individuals whose roles exist to deliver, support or influence democratic government within local, national and international legislatures (e.g., MEPs, MPs, civil servants, parliamentary staff, local government officers), inter-governmental organizations (e.g., United Nations), or non-governmental organisations engaged in political advocacy, including lobbyists, member organisations and professional bodies (e.g., International Sports Federations, EAWOP).

The specific aims are to bring together experienced and early career work psychologists from Europe and beyond in order to: (a) raise awareness and advance conceptual and empirical understanding of an important yet hitherto neglected area of work, (b) bring together academics, practitioners and policymakers to exchange insights on this topic and inform an agenda for future research, and (c) explore the ways in which work psychology research and practice could help to develop capacity and competence in political work. Specifically, this SGM calls for conceptual, methodological and empirical presentations on topics related to political work, including (but not limited to) the following areas:

1. Conceptualising and operationalising political work within the context of psychological research;
2. Performing political work: understanding the qualities and competencies required to deliver good political work, and how these are developed;
3. Leadership emergence and effectiveness in political work;
4. Perceiving and experiencing political work in different work contexts (i.e. political parties, government and non-governmental agencies);
5. Multi-level examination of political work and its distinct components (individual, group, organisational, societal);
6. The challenges and opportunities of using social media, data analytics and “big data” in political work;
7. Politicking, ethics and trust – exploring the relevance of ‘dark-side’ behaviour in political work and its consequences;
8. Using new and existing methodologies to investigate ‘hard to reach’ aspects of political work (e.g. surveys, topic modelling, in-depth interviews, case studies and mixed methods);
9. Case study examples of how best to inform and impact organisations and policy makers on the psychological contribution to enhancing political work;
10.  Comparative research on political work in different cultural and organisational contexts;
11.  Applying a political lens to the research and practice of work of organisational psychology.

Meeting format
This small group meeting will foster extensive discussion, cross-fertilization of ideas, and research collaboration. There will be around 25-30 participants at the meeting. Each paper will be presented in plenary to the entire meeting with a maximum number of 20 presentations. Approximately 10 presentations will be invited presentations from prominent researchers in the area. Moreover, we will invite practitioners that are involved in this topic to exchange knowledge with academics. The remaining presentations will be selected through a competitive process, in which submissions are pre-screened by the organizing committee and then sent out for double blind peer-review.

Dates and Place of Meeting
The SGM will take place in London over two days (6-7th October  2020) in the heart of the Olympic Park at Loughborough University’s London Campus. This venue is six minutes by train from Kings Cross and St Pancras train stations (Eurostar), 25 minutes by public transport from London City Airport, and 1 hour from Gatwick and Stansted Airports. The event is likely to include a visit to the House of Commons or London Assembly, both iconic London landmarks. Participants whose papers are selected for presentation will be advised of suitable hotels and locations when their presentation proposal is accepted.

Attendance at the workshop involves a small fee of €100 for everyone except for PhDs who have a smaller fee of €50. Tea, coffee lunches and dinner are provided by courtesy of EAWOP sponsorship. Participants need to provide for their own travel and accommodation costs.

Submission of abstract and full paper
Abstracts should be submitted before (27th March 2020) to Prof. Jo Silvester at Abstracts should be 800 words long. Each abstract should contain the following information: a) Statement of problem(s), b) Description of study, theory, review, etc., and c) How it enhances our understanding of political work and contributes to the aims of the small group meeting. Empirical papers should use rigorous research designs and should contain information of methods, sampling and sample size, measures and results. Conceptual papers should pose specific and unanswered questions and/or make specific and novel predictions.
Participants will be notified of the decision on (11th May 2020 - 6 weeks after the finalised submission date).

Participants will be invited to submit their papers to a special issue and/ or contribute to a position paper to journals such as European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology and Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

More information and up-dates
Please follow us on Twitter #PoliticalWork for information and updates on the meeting organization. You may also email the meeting host.


BBC (2019). European Elections 2019: Power blocs lose grip on parliament.

Bruno, J.R. (2017). Vigilance and Confidence: Jeremy Bentham, Publicity, and the Dialectic of Political Trust and Distrust. American Political Science Review 111(2), 295-30.

Edelman, (2019). The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer.

Hern, A. (2018). Cambridge Analytica: How did it change clicks into votes? The Guardian. 

Silvester, J. (2008). The good, the bad and the ugly: Politics and politicians at work. International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 23, 107.

Silvester, J., & Wyatt, M. (2018). Political effectiveness at work. In D.S. Ones, N. Anderson, H.K. Sinangil, & C. Viswesvaran, (Eds.), Handbook of Industrial Work and Organizational Psychology, Volume 3. London: Sage.

Tett, G. (2019). Is popularism here to stay? The Financial Times.